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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Congresswoman Beatty Addresses the Nation During Commitment March

Aug 28, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Vice-Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, addressed the nation—from the exact location Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream Speech” 57 years earlier—at the Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks. A transcript of Beatty’s remarks is below:\

“We are here today because people died and were denied civil and economic rights.

We are here today because 57 years ago people marched for jobs and freedom.

We are here today because George Floyd had a knee on his neck—for 8 minutes and 46 seconds—and Black Lives Matter.

I am here representing the Congressional Black Caucus—54 members—who understand that silence is not an option, because Black people face a symbolic chokehold every time we walk, speak up, shop, jog, drive and, yes, breathe.

So, we must tear down the walls of injustice.

I am here to say as MLK said, ‘(In America), a riot is the language of the unheard.’

And what is it that America has failed to hear?

Promises of freedom and justice for all.

Say their names. Ahmaud, Breonna, George, Jacob, and the list goes on.

Black Lives Matter.

So, let’s pass The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

No more immunity for officers who look into cell phone cameras as they kill our brothers and sisters.

Let’s institute mandatory databases. Tamir Rice would have lived to see his 18th birthday if that were the case. 

Let’s ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants. Eric Garner and Breonna Taylor would still be alive today if that were the case.

The CBC is also pushing to recognize Racism as a ‘National Crisis.’ We’re fighting for jobs, housing relief, access to capital, and a reparations bill.

Know it was CBC brothers who wrote the First Step Act, and a powerful brother who leads the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

Demand that the Senate pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act to restore justice, dignity, and equal access to the ballot box. 

Thank you, Rev. Al and National Action Network, for this march and demanding that we vote—and that society gets their knee off our necks. 

I’m Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, Vice Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, and I approve this message!”

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